Average weekend, then a nice round of swell for the east

Ben Matson picture
Ben Matson (thermalben)

Victorian Surf Forecast by Ben Matson (issued Friday 29th October)

Features of the Forecast (tl;dr)

  • Nothing great this weekend, just a slow improvement as winds ease and the swell eases
  • Nice new groundswell later Mon, peaking Tues though winds will be E/NE at the height of the swell, favouring east of Melbourne
  • Easing surf and N'ly winds Wed
  • Onshores Thurs/Fri with a small new building swell


Very small surf and developing onshore winds on Thursday made for very few surfing options. A brief window of gale force N’ly winds at dawn this morning preceded a storm force SW change, and rapidly building surf size that’s created storm surf conditions across exposed coasts. Although the surf zone is positioned a couple of hundred metres out past the usual lineup, wave heights are not excessively large, even despite the impressive readings at the Pt Nepean buoy (see below), which is unusually bigger than Cape Sorell! Though conditions are certainly very solid and wind affected. 

Pt Nepean wave data, showing the Hmax peak of 10.96m just before lunchtime

Brief window of clean conditions on the MP this morning

Breaking way offshore at Torquay Friday lunchtime

Sizeable at Fairhaven this arvo

This weekend (Oct 30 - 31)

It’s gonna take quite a bit of effort to clean up conditions from today’s blow.

We should see winds become light W/NW across the Surf Coast by Saturday morning, though moderate to fresh W’lies are likely east of Melbourne to begin with, before the breeze eases back through the morning.

The current surf setup is all locally generated - see image below, showing S'ly gales within the thin swell window between King Island and Tasmanis - and thus surf size will ease in sync with overnight abating winds, so expect a steady drop in size through Saturday.

At this stage I’d probably hazard somewhere around 3-4ft west of Melbourne and 4-5ft east of Melbourne early on (easing during rhe day), but there really won’t be anything amazing to work around. Aim for the beaches if you have to, as protected locations east and west of Melbourne will be very small. 

Winds may veer back to the SW by lunchtime and pick up into the afternoon, so morning will be best.

On Sunday, we’ll see a small new groundswell push into the region, though I’m not confident there’ll be enough size west of Melbourne to make it worthwhile (slow 1-2ft sets, though clean with light W/NW winds).

East of Melbourne will pick up bigger waves in the 3ft range though winds will hold from the western quadrant. 

All in all, it's shaping up to be pretty much a forgettable weekend of waves.

Next week (Nov 1 onwards)

The first half of next week looks really good.

Monday will start off small, but the leading edge of a multi-front swell event is due to push through Bass Strait in the morning, and we should see building size into the afternoon ahead of a peak on Tuesday.

Monday’s winds look good for most coasts (light and variable with sea breezes), but a building high pressure system will swing this wind around to the E/NE on Tuesday - perfect for open beaches east of Melbourne but a poor devil-wind west of Melbourne (maybe some OK side shore action at some open beaches). 

At its peak - more likely early Tuesday, but also a possibility late Monday - we should see 3-4ft+ across the Surf Coast swell magnets (a little smaller at most other breaks), and east of Melbourne’s likely to crack 4-6ft. Expect much smaller surf early Monday, ahead of the building trend. 

Wednesday will see surf size rapidly easing from Tuesday, but winds will swing NE thru’ N’ly, offering good waves across the open beaches. 

So, there’ll be plenty of options each day.. just gotta work around those winds. 

Onshore are then expected Thursday and Friday as a weak front slips to the south of the state, though we’ll concurrently see an increase in new W/SW swell from a modest front/low progression through the Southern Ocean from this weekend onwards, splitting into a small cut-off low south of the continent around Wednesday. No major size is likely but it’ll keep the Surf Coast humming with 2-3ft sets from Thursday afternoon through Friday. 

And, next weekend’s got even more groundswell on the cards, slightly bigger than the Friday swell and likely to hold into the start of the following week, as the Southern Ocean maintains a healthy storm track for Southern Australian coasts.

So, lots of positives in the long range outlook though nothing epic. 

Have a great weekend, see you Monday!